Fearing the expansion of the authority and power possessed by the government is as American as apple pie. We’ve been doing it for over 200 years. Honestly, it’s kind of our thing. If you turn on the news, you’ll hear stories of how the government is expanding its reach into the lives of citizens and their businesses every day. From corporate regulation to gun control, the government is always trying to regulate something.
Today, like most days, I came across a story of the government trying to regulate something. Like most of those days, this really pissed me off. Was the government increasing taxes or making it more difficult for American businesses to offer goods and services? No. They were infringing on man’s God-given right to rage.
What you’re about to read may shock you. Reader discretion is advised.
City Council member Jumaane Williams said he will propose legislation that would require hosts to notify local police precincts and community boards three days in advance if they intend to throw a party with 40 or more guests, following a multiple shooting that took place in East Flatbush last weekend. Another proposal put forward by Williams would seek to crack down on what the councilman calls “house clubs,” fining homeowners who advertise parties in advance, sell drinks and charge covers at the door.
“We think when there’s 200, 300 people in a backyard, and this happens on a routine basis, you’re really inviting trouble,” Williams said at a press conference earlier this week.
Brooklyn City Council member Jumaane Williams apparently doesn’t like people to have a good time. What a nerd. Any party with more than 40 people needs to notify the NYPD and their local community boards three days in advance? That’s pretty Dean Wormer-esque of you, Mr. Williams.
Also, for the record, when there are 200 or 300 people in a backyard on a routine basis, it sounds like whomever is throwing those parties is doing a damn good job of it. They’re getting the people together. They’re acting as unpaid community organizers. If anything, they’re public servants seeking to advance the common good.
Now, I’m no lawyer, but it seems to me that this is an attack on the rights of the citizens of Brooklyn. I’m pretty sure the 1st Amendment guarantees the people the right to assemble without any kind of approval. Wouldn’t a party held by an individual or a private group of individuals and thrown on private property constitute an assembly of the people? I’m sorry, I thought this was America.
Of course, this isn’t very surprising to hear. After all, New York City recently tried to regulate large servings of sugary soft drinks. Fortunately, that was struck down as an overreach of the government’s power.
Seriously though, why can’t you guys just let people have a good time?
[via Tech Dirt]